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PrayNetwork Spotlight: Midwest Prayer Conference (CPLN)

Among its various ministries, the Church Prayer Leaders' Network conducts prayer conferences at local churches.  These conferences provide teaching in the form of keynote sessions and breakout groups, as well as opportunities for worship and prayer.  They also bring together a great selection of books and other resources to help participants grow in prayer.

I've attended the Midwest Prayer Conference in the Indianapolis area multiple times, and have found it to be both a mountaintop experience in worship and learning and a very effective catalyst to growth in my prayer life and ministry.  This year, the Midwest Prayer Conference is happening on September 25-26 at Greenwood Christian Church in metro Indianapolis.  I caught up with Jonathan Graf, President of CPLN to get a preview of this year's conference.


PN: What value have you seen in prayer conferences?

Jonathan: While prayer conferences seem on the decline with all that people have going on, I have seen them to be an excellent way to fire up people toward the deeper aspects of prayer. We see many prayer leaders who come to our events leave determined to keep at the task of growing prayer in their church.


PN: CPLN conferences are often hosted by churches.  What is the value to the church?

Jonathan: Typically the host church sees a good number of its people come out to these events. Hosting a CPLN event often provides a jump start to greater participation in prayer within the church. A number of people who attend will have their passion for prayer increase as a result of the conference.


PN: What is the theme of this year's conference?

Jonathan: Empowered . . . to Pray is our theme. The thought is that we need to surrender and let the Holy Spirit enable us to pray.


PN: Who will be the speakers?

Jonathan: Dr. Bob Russell, the retired former pastor of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY. Dr. Russell spent his entire ministry at Southeast, watching it grow from 100 or so members to more than 20,000 today. His books When God Answers Prayer and When God Builds a Church will shape what he shares with us. The other keynote speaker is Dave Butts, the founder of Harvest Prayer Ministries and author of Forgotten Power: A Simple Theology for a Praying Church.


PN: What kinds of breakout sessions will be available?

Jonathan: Our breakout sessions are not finalized yet. There will be 3 or 4 different topics available to participants during two different workshop slots. Some will be related to personal prayer and others toward growing prayer in the local church. Dave and Kim Butts and Jon Graf will be leading the workshops, but current registration numbers will probably cause us to expand how many workshops we make available.


PN: What can participants expect out of the conference?  Where can people get more information?

Jonathan: Participants can expect solid teaching on prayer that will inspire, challenge and equip them not only in their own prayer lives, but also to be a catalyst for prayer in their churches.

For more information or to register for the September 25-26 event, go to Spotlight by Andrew Wheeler.

See Andrew's website at

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